Managing Multiple Market Towns in Cumbria
Joe Broomfield and Toin Magean are Town Centre Area Managers for seven market towns in North Cumbria, and are employed by Allerdale Borough Council. Joe covers the four picturesque market towns of Cockermouth, Keswick, Silloth and Wigton, while his colleague Toni looks after Aspatria, Maryport and Workington. All seven of the town centres are unique with their own distinct personalities, but they also face many of the same challenges. As such, since taking on their roles in May 2012, Joe and Toni have worked hard to strengthen links between the different localities and ensure that they learn and work with each other for the benefit of North Cumbria and the community. In 2013, Joe and Toni (in collaboraion with local stakeholders) wrote Town Centre Plan' for each of the seven market towns under their management, with each one coordinating and prioritising the work of the Borough Council, taking the themes from the overarching Council Plan and making them relevant for local centres. The plans will be reviewed annually and updated accordingly.
“Life can be hectic covering four towns,” says Joe, “but there is certainly scope to transfer and adapt initiatives from one area to another. One good example of this has been in Wigton, where I invited members of a newly-formed Chamber of Trade to meet their counterparts in nearby Cockermouth, where a Chamber was well established, with the aim of sharing successful project ideas. “Cockermouth had created the Shop 10 loyalty scheme which rewards shoppers who use the town’s independent stores. A few meetings, e-mails and phone calls later, plus with some financial support from Allerdale Borough Council, and the Wigton Totally Locally Campaign was launched. It now sees around 500 completed cards entered in the monthly draw.”. Working in partnership also offers scope for joint projects and marketing initiatives. Joe and Toni have compiled a coordinated calendar of the many different carnivals, festivals, shows, performances and local celebrations taking place in their town centres in 2014.
Their work shows the value a coordinator can bring to even the smallest town centre, and by pooling resources local centres can coordinate activity, work for the benefit of the genera area and speak with one voice to potential funding and development bodies. For more information on multi-site management, please contact ATCM.